Best of MetalMiner

Our MetalMiner IndX tracks worlwide metal prices every day. The global precious metals – palladium, platinum, silver and gold – are followed mainly for their potential as investments, but their appeal as industrial metals came to the fore again this week.

FREE Download: The Monthly MMI® Report – covering the Precious markets.

The film industry, banking transparency, renewable energy technology, cleaner emissions and even rural electrification all exist because of how hard the precious metals work. If you weren’t thanking gold, silver, platinum and palladium yesterday then you should apologize and ask for forgiveness right now!

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Ok, so Lynas Corp. and Molycorp aren’t technically in a fight, and steel is not coming in the crunchy form of your grandmother’s classic dills, and Autodesk…well, Autodesk did announce new applications, so we’ve got nothin’ on that front…but the point is that these are the ties that bind the Best of MetalMiner: Thanksgiving 2014 Edition.

FREE Download: The Monthly MMI® Report.

It’s definitely that time of year again: to look back at the most-read stories on MetalMiner over the last quarter or so.

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Welcome back to the MetalMiner Week-In-Review, now reporting live from Australia’s University of Queensland. Okay, not really, we would just like to talk about the research being done there in phytomining. What’s phytomining, you ask?

FREE Download: The Monthly MMI® Report – covering the Stainless/Nickel markets.

Harvesting valuable metals from plants. Growing plants containing nickel, zinc and cobalt—some of our favorite mined minerals—and harvesting them above ground, not below.

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Back in August, the base metals took a vacation. Now that summer’s officially over and we are steeling ourselves for another winter of polar vortexes in a few months, the base metals have returned and are moving up and down the commodity charts again… or not.

Don’t miss this free download of our Monthly MMI® Report, covering price trends in 10 metals markets.

Some have returned to normalcy (check out platinum and palladium). Others have taken even a bigger dive than the dog days of summer brought (gold and silver) and some are extending market flatness with a staycation of sorts (raw steel, you still there?). Here’s MetalMiner’s recap of the returning base metals as they stare down Q4 with the rest of us.

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This was finally the week when loyal, dutiful palladium stepped out from the considerable shadow of platinum and became a precious/industrial metals star in its own right, reaching a 13-year high on the LME (an astounding $911 an ounce) and widening the gap between itself and platinum as the favorite precious metal of traders this year.

FREE Download: The Monthly MMI® Report – covering the Precious markets.

A number of global factors came together to create palladium’s perfect storm.

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“Our steel price index has been trending quite flat since last year. Steel demand looks optimistic for some, but not that bright for others. The US steel industry had better-than-expected performance during the second half of 2013, but a brighter future is still not certain.”

FREE Download: The Monthly MMI® Report – covering Steel/Iron Ore markets.

That’s what our Lead Forecaster, Raul De Frutos wrote back in May and not much has changed in steel since then.

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The year in precious metals has been dominated by the South African platinum mining strike as well as unrest in Ukraine affecting the prices and supplies of number two platinum and palladium producer, Russia. These issues, coupled with strong currencies, especially the US dollar which has kept down the price of gold, have pushed palladium to a 13-year high and platinum higher as well.

FREE Download: The Monthly MMI® Report – covering the Precious markets.

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As we celebrate Labor Day in the US, the domestic construction industry continues to be plagued by a big lack of it. Housing construction through July reached its highest level since 1989, according to Commerce Department data released last week, yet the lack of skilled labor continues to threaten the recovery in housing and other sectors of the construction market.

FREE Download: The Monthly MMI® Report – covering the metals markets of the Construction sector.

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MetalMiner doesn’t mess around when it comes to knowing the ABCs of metals buying for manufacturers. And these top research papers and reports should prove it.

Before September comes into full swing, let our team of analysts – including Lisa Reisman, Stuart Burns, Pierre Mitchell, and Raul de Frutos – refresh you on the first half of 2014.

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No issue we have covered here at MetalMiner has been more contentious than the oft-brought accusation of one nation that another is dumping artificially supported product on the shores of another. As the regulatory environment has tightened here at the US, we found ourselves covering more and more anti-dumping accusations, court cases and international tribunals on everything from steel and rebar to the silicon used to make solar panels.

FREE Download: The Monthly MMI® Report – covering Steel/Iron Ore markets.

Some novel surprises this year included disagreement between different US regulatory bodies on whether Grain-Oriented Electrical Steel was dumped or not, India appealing a WTO steel dumping case it mostly won and a German multinational company draping itself in the American flag while trying to claim Chinese manufacturers were dumping silicon photovoltaic solar panels in the US.

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